Kevyn Aucoin Celestial & Sculpting Powders

January 21, 2015

I’m a newbie to the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line. I used to use his Celestial Powder in Candlelight a long time ago when it came in the large compact packaging and liked it for a soft glow, but after using it up never really explored much of the line. Recently I decided to give the brand a closer look. I ordered both of The Celestial Powders ($44 each for 3.1g/0.11 oz) in Starlight and Candlelight and The Sculpting Powder ($44 for 3.1g/0.11 oz) in Medium.

The Celestial Powders are small compacts of finely milled shimmery powders. Candlelight is a soft champagne color with a very smooth shimmer. In the pan it’s neutral and almost has a slight yellow/gold tinge. On my olive/medium skin it pulls more cool-toned. The shimmer is apparent but very natural. It does give a lovely glow and I know it’s reached cult status for many. For me it makes a lovely highlight and also can double as a shadow, but my heart still belongs to Hourglass Luminous Light as my favorite for a light powder highlighter. I favor the Hourglass because it glows more and the color is more luminous on my specific skin tone. If you want a cooler-toned or neutral champagne highlighter that glows but won’t emphasize pores and is on the subtle side, this is a good option.

above, Candlelight

The Celestial Powder in Starlight is a soft warm pink highlighter with a medium level shimmer. On me this one has more visible shimmer and frost on the skin but the color is darker than your traditional highlighter. It has a lovely medium but soft pink base mixed with a hint of silver sheen. This one is just so beautiful on the skin. I don’t think I have anything like it. It’s hard to find a light to medium pink shimmer that isn’t too dark or light. The shimmer in this one is more visible but not frosty.

above, Starlight

The Sculpting Powder in Medium has been one of the most-raved about contouring powders. I am not a contouring kind of person. I think the contouring process can result in really good photographs but in person/real life I find it often looks overdone and fake. That being said I am all for a subtle contour that looks natural. Medium is a medium color that is a neutral grey/taupe/tan. There’s no orange undertone and no shimmer. It’s pulls neutral-cool and is very finely milled. On my skin it blended beautifully with a very soft but layerable texture. The only problem for me is that I found it too grey and too brown. For contouring I need something softer or warmer, but I think I’m in the minority – I know many prefer the opposite wanting something cooler with good pigment.

above, Medium

Some comparisons below to some other shades for reference:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Luminous Light (review)
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (glow portion, review)
Armani Fluid Sheer #2
NARS Illuminator in Adelaide (review)
NARS Multiple St. Lucia (review)

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (bronze portion, review)
NARS Contour Duo in Paloma (review)
Dolce & Gabbana Blush in Tan (review)
MAC Sheertone Blush in Tenderling

After testing these products I feel all three are very good and of high quality. The powders are smooth and blend nicely on the skin without streaking of fall out. The texture melds beautifully with the natural skin texture and they lasted all day without fading. I also found that the three powders photograph phenomenally well especially with a flash. In real life however, I found The Celestial Powder in Candlelight and The Sculpting Powder in Medium didn’t fit what I was looking for, mainly because of how these worked with my skin tone. Candlelight is a bit too cool for me, Medium is a bit too dark and brown for my medium/olive Chanel B30/Tom Ford Bisque 04 skin. The price of these powders is on the steep side for the amount of product given. I think Starlight is worth the price tag for the unique color and formula. For the others, I’m not so sure.

You can find Kevyn Aucoin at a number of retailers. I bought my items from Nordstrom. Also online at Neiman Marcus, Beautylish, Net-A-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman.

Do you have any Kevyn Aucoin favorites? What do you recommend that I check out from the line?

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  • m January 21, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Starlight does look gorgeous!

  • Rachel Polansky January 21, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    i have the candlelight and sculpting powders, and i have my eye on the new starlight one!


  • Bella January 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Funny indeed how cool Candlelight pulls on you….on me it's a subtle warm yellowy gold!!!

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      Yes I know it's funny 🙂 My skin tends to pull things very cool toned or very warm toned.

  • Erin and Katherine January 21, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I've never tried these before, but wow do they look gorgeous. Definitely have to test the colour out first.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  • Anonymous January 21, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Well written review on what can be a tricky subject. Thanks, Lina!

    Laura in NYC

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks Laura 🙂

  • beautywithwhitney.com January 21, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    The swatches look so smooth and beautiful!

  • Thuy Vu January 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    These look amazing! :O

    Thuy xxx

  • The Procrastinator January 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Sounds like the Charlotte Tillbury is more up your alley in terms of colour — it's less grey and more rosey. Or MAC Emote!

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      Yes, the CT and DG are easier for my skin to pull off better. Still the KA is lovely! Just in small doses.

  • Lizzy Fresh January 21, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    These look so beautiful! I'm still waiting for the right product to splurge on from this line but everything is always so gorgeous, it's hard to choose.

    | Lizzy Fresh |

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      I'm right there with you 🙂

  • Muskstick Mao January 21, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Oooo Starlight! I needs that in my life – awesome in-depth post, absolutely loved it. x

    HG | MuskstickMao.com

  • Connie Bea January 22, 2015 at 12:59 am

    That medium color is beautiful!

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

  • TheMissMorganLife January 22, 2015 at 1:55 am

    These are so beautiful!! I haven't tried any products from Kevyn Aucoin, however I may have to pick up one of these! Thank you for another wonderful review!

  • Anonymous January 22, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I got the Kevin Aucoin Creamy Glow Duo in Sculpting ( a cream contour) and Candlelight ( a powder highlighter) and like it. It's small but it's only $28 and you get 2 products. It's SO much easier to work with a cream contour than a powder one, and while the contour looks dark in the pan, it sheers out nicely and looks natural. And the highlight is pretty

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      The Creamy Duos look so amazing but I'm always iffy about creams in compacts because they get dirty so easily. I'll have to give it a second look next time I am at a counter – I agree cream contouring products are often easier to apply/layer.

  • Наталия Крюкова January 22, 2015 at 8:37 am

    WOW!!! Candlelight – very beautiful


  • Giò January 22, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I agree with you about the contouring in real life. I usually use Les beiges de Chanel, powder, for this purpose, it is also very subtle. I'd like to try this powders, anyway.

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Ah yes! Chanel Les Beiges work as a very soft contour for me too 🙂

  • transientbeaute.com January 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

    These look absolutely gorgeous.

    I have yet to dip my toes into the Kevyn Aucoin line though!

  • Danielle Mac January 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Natural shades

    Danielle Mac

  • Fancie January 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Starlight is stunning!! The color is beautiful and the glow looks lovely

    Follow me to Fancieland!

  • adia January 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I really love the eyebrow pencil by Kevyn Aucoin. I also think the lipgloss would be a good option for the glowy look you wrote about last week.

    Adia | beauty luxe life

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks Adia, I've looked at his glosses a few times at the counter and they have such a beautiful luminous shimmery quality. I've never took the plunge but will do soon.

  • AmooraCat January 22, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    I've been using the Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Airbrush foundation and it is one of the best, most natural looking foundations I have used (shade 8). For reference, I have also used the Guerlain Lingerie De Peau (shade 3 beige) and find it comparable, but the Guerlain is slightly more sheer on me.

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Oooh, the foundation looks amazing. It's something I've always wanted to check out but always forget to. I'm adding it to my list again – thank you for reminding me!

  • michelle January 23, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Loving Starlight–very pretty–the swatch photo makes it look much more like luminous light than I would have expected. Is that so? I have the medium contour and use it occasionally but like you, I don't like contour on the daily so sometimes I forget to use it in the evening. I L-O-V-E his #1 Eyeshadow palette–is is simply divine, gorgeous, buttery goodness:)

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Michelle, if you check Temptalia's swatches I think you'll get another good look at Starlight. It is very glowy with larger shimmer particles than Candlelight but on me it's not frosted. HTH!

  • Julia January 23, 2015 at 4:12 am

    The eye duos are gorgeous. I have no idea why they don't get more press-silky but not too powdery, rich pigment, good packaging… I have Frosted Jade/Bronze and it's just exquisite! Do try them! There are lots of combos I think you'd like!

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks Julia, I'll look into the duos – everyone is giving me such good recs!

  • Ting Yn January 23, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Thank you for the swatches. I think that I'm good for highlighters (I own the same Charlotte Tilbury and Hourglass that you have swatched) though I am tempted to try out Starlight in store to see how it is on my skin tone.
    Ting The Ting Thing

    • Sabrina January 28, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Definitely try before you buy (if you can) 🙂

  • makeup magpie January 24, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I'm so glad to see that they changed the packaging – the Candlelight I purchased a few years ago is in a much larger compact with a brush that is not of the best quality. I'd much rather have a small compact like this and use my own favorite brushes. Starlight looks lovely! 🙂

  • Sara BeauTime January 24, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is one of the few products in my stash that I managed to hit the pan. I use it almost daily. Now looking at your swatches, I might have to get candle light too.

  • bronzer bunny February 1, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    i love the sculpting powder! I was iffy about the starlight powder (have candlelight already) but now i'll take a closer look next time i'm near a kevyn aucoin counter 🙂